Friday, January 7, 2011

Ain't Nothing Like The Sound of Ashton Shepherd

Look It Up

Ashton Shepherd has just released the first single, “Look It Up," from her forthcoming second album to be released April 1st 2011.  

Who? You ask. Never heard of her. That’s OK. Ashton Shepherd is the best singer you’ve never heard of. But now you have, so there’s no excuse.

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this record; her 2008 debut, Sounds So Good was an album rich with vibrant songs and powerhouse singing. Every song on it is a winner, and the ballads take your breath away.

But it wasn’t until I started looking up YouTube clips of her singing on the fly – at radio stations, in cafés, in the studio – that I really appreciated what an enormous talent she is. This gal can SING.

Maybe you’ve never heard of her because the native Alabama twang is thick, or because she has not been given the gift of a sweet spot on a major tour. In many of the videos you get to see the unaffected young mother simply running at the mouth in a way that more seasoned artists rarely do, and I must admit that this was the quality that I feared would get buried as and when she hit the big time.

Not to worry. The clip of her singing her new song to studio executives has plenty of that. I will not provide a link, however, because for some reason her guitar is out of tune and does her no justice.

Here’s the video of her new song instead. The new song is OK. It’s your typical song about cheating. Whatev. And, by the way, it sounds an awful lot like Eric Church’s “Smoke A Little Smoke.”

I won’t beat about the bush: girlfriend looks good in it, but the video is rubbish. Listen up, you folks who manage her: stop it. Stop trying to make the girl Hollywood. The video is asinine: are we to believe that this country girl with a thick accent dressed in a plaid shirt and (obviously brand new) designer flares lives in an LA suburb with tennis racquets and a goof for a husband? Oh COME ON. Here’s an idea: Simply film her singing. That’s enough. Take a lesson from her first video, the sublime “Sounds So Good.” (Compare this to a live version at a radio show.) No auto-tune there.

Here’s Ashton Shepherd doing what she does best. Do yourself a favor: Look it up.

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